CPI-M against upward revision of petrol and diesel prices

New Delhi, April 20 | Updated: Apr 21 2005, 05:51am hrs
Quoting extensively from the fifth report of the standing committee on petroleum and natural gas, CPI-M leaders criticised the governments proposal for an upward revision in petrol and diesel prices. They demanded that not only must the duty on petroleum products be restructured to stabilise prices but a price stabilisation fund be created as suggested by the committee.

Saying that the pricing policy of petroleum products was faulty, party MPs, Nilotpal Basu and Basudeb Acharia, told mediapersons here on Wednesday that while the government had reduced excise duty on kerosene and LPG by Rs 0.88 per litre and Rs 17.75 per cylinder respectively, it had increased the duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2.52 per litre and Rs 1.65 per litre, respectively, leading to an incremental revenue of Rs 3,000 crore per year.

The standing committee report, quoting the petroleum secretarys deposition stated: ...What the finance ministry has done is this. Whatever it has given from one hand, it has taken away from the other hand or more than what is given. In fact, the proposal of the finance ministry is revenue positive.

Based on the report, Mr Basu demanded that the government make a downward revision of excise duties as it reflected on the economy in terms of inflation, adding, We cannot support this.

Mr Basu said the Left also supported the report which said: In this backdrop, the committee desired to know the exact share of hydrocarbon sector in the total revenue of the government in the last three fiscals and the committee wanted to know whether the tariff changes effected were revenue neutral as stated by the FM in his Budget speech.